The shooting of Ezell Ford is turning into a high-profile civil rights lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department. Steven Lerman, the lawyer for the Ford family, said on MSNBC that he will be immediately filing a civil rights lawsuit. Ezell Ford, a 25 year old black man who was not armed, was stopped by police, beaten, and after an officer was heard by witnesses to shout “Shoot him” was shot 3 times and died in hospital after efforts to save his life failed.
Those who knew Ford said that he had a mental health issue, but was never known to have been violent, did not carry a gun and had no involvement with gangs. Lerman said, “I cannot think of more innocent circumstances. But to be set upon by these officers who absolutely lost control and went into deadly force. This young man, what kind of fight could he have put up? Really, this is as sickening as it is sad.”
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An eyewitness to the incident, Leroy Hill gave his chilling account:
“He wasn’t a gangbanger at all. I was sitting across the street when it happened. So as he was walking down the street, the police approached him. Whatever was said, I couldn’t hear it, but the cops jumped out of the car and rushed over here into this corner, and were beating him, busting him up, for what reason, I don’t know. He didn’t do nothing.” Hill said he heard an officer yell “Shoot him!” and “The next thing I know, I hear ‘pow, ‘ while he’s on the ground. They got the knee on him. And then I hear another ‘pow’ no hesitation. And then I hear another ‘pow, ‘ three times.”